Franconia Ridge

Hiked the Franconia Ridge on 8/29/2015 which included Lafayette, Lincoln, Liberty and Flume. These were peaks 570, 571 572 and 573 for “The Grid over 60”. Mike Lynch joined me for part of the hike. It was a perfect day for hiking, moderate temperatures, low humidity, clear skies and low winds. Unfortunately it was a saturday and there were hundreds of people out hiking. We got there early and got a parking place in the parking lot. We climbed steadily to the start of “The Agonies”  where we took a break to admire the view.

The Agonies from the first viewpoint
The Agonies from the first viewpoint

After climbing over the Agonies we reached the AMCs Greenleaf hut where we took a break and filled our water bottles.

Greenleaf Hut
Greenleaf Hut

We climbed up to the summit of Lafayette, there were great views on the way to the summit and also at the summit.

Looking into Vermont with low clouds in the vallies
Looking into Vermont with low clouds in the vallies
Washington from Lafayette
Washington from Lafayette

There are the remains of an old structure on the summit, only the foundation remains.

Old foundation with Kinsmans and Moosilauke in the distance
Old foundation with Kinsmans and Moosilauke in the distance

After leaving the summit of Lafayette the hike is all downhill except for a few ups to gain the rest of the summits. Great views all along the ridge to Little Haystack.

Lafayette from North Lincoln
Lafayette from North Lincoln
Lincoln from North Lincoln
Lincoln from North Lincoln
Cannon from North Lincoln
Cannon from North Lincoln

The trail started to get more crowded as we approached the summit of Lincoln.

Little Haystack, Liberty and Flume from Lincoln
Little Haystack, Liberty and Flume from Lincoln

We had our PBJs on Little Haystack and then Mike went down the Falling Waters trail while I continued along the ridge. There were a lot of people on Little Haystack eating lunch before continuing there trek.

People enjoying the views
People enjoying the views
The crowd on Little Haystack
The crowd on Little Haystack

I continued along the ridge to Liberty and Flume eating cookies along the way.

Lincoln and Lafayette from Flume
Lincoln and Lafayette from Flume
The Bonds from Flume
The Bonds from Flume

I took the Osseo trail from the summit of Flume down to the Lincoln Woods trail and out to the parking lot.

Bond Cliff from the Osseo trail
Bond Cliff from the Osseo trail

Only 3 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”. Next one will be Washington in October.

 

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Carter Dome

Hiked Carter Dome on 8/26/2015. This was peak 569 for “The Grid over 60”. Bill Cronin joined me for this hike. Carter Dome is a pretty easy hike if you use any of the standard routes but since this was a redlining extravaganza it turned into a 22.5 mile 12 hour hike. We started from the Wild River Campground on the Highwater trail to the Black Angel trail to the Carter Moriah trail over the summit of Carter Dome and down to the Carter Notch hut. Then the Wildcat River trail to the Wild River trail back to the campground. The weather was cloudy and very humid with one heavy shower. We started off the day in the fog.

Wild River in the morning fog
Wild River in the morning fog
Bill at the far end of the bridge
Bill at the far end of the bridge

If you are not comfortable with stream crossings this is not the hike for you. There were multiple crossings that tested your ability to keep your feet dry, the last one crossing the Wild River was especially difficult made more so because we apparently crossed in the wrong place.

Bill at the former site of Spider Bridge
Bill at the former site of Spider Bridge

We made our way up the Black Angel trail which except for the last 1/3 of mile was pretty easy. The last bit was the usual wet rocks and roots which were slow going. We made it to the top of Carter Dome where we enjoyed the first PBJ of the day in a light drizzle.

Summit of Carter Dome
Summit of Carter Dome

Met an AT thruhiker coming up Carter Dome as we made our way down to the Carter Notch hut. He was headed toward Route 2 which was quite a few miles to go. Carter Notch has 2 ponds which are the drinking water supply for the hut but you can also swim in them although I don’t think the water ever gets very warm.

Carter Notch pond
Carter Notch pond
Second Carter Notch pond
Second Carter Notch pond
Entrance to Carter Notch hut
Entrance to Carter Notch hut

After refilling water bottles at the hut it was all downhill back to the campground with multiple stream crossings and lots of sections of trail with boot sucking mud. Fortunately no bugs to add to the fun. Passed the end of the East Branch trail which I still need to hike but didn’t feel like doing the 8 miles today. Had the second PBJ of the day here.

East Branch sign
East Branch sign

We were almost back to the trailhead when we finally got a view back up the Wild River valley.

View up the Wild River valley
View up the Wild River valley

Got back to the car 12 hours after starting, it was a long day. Only seven more peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

Monroe and Washington

Hiked Monroe and Washington on 8/22/2015 with my cousin John Heydinger. These were peaks 567 and 568 for “The Grid over 60”. The weather was predicted to be in and out of the clouds with a chance of showers, turned out to be a beautiful day with few clouds and no rain in sight. Took the usual loop of the Ammonoosuc Ravine trail to Crawford Path to Gulfside to Jewell Trail. Of course we had to stop and take another picture of Gem Pool.

Gem Pool
Gem Pool

We continued the steep ascent up to the crossing where there always good views.

Looking down the valley with a slight undercast
Looking down the valley with a slight undercast
Looking up to small waterfalls
Looking up to small waterfalls

We continued up to Lakes of the Clouds hut where took a brief water break.

Lakes of the Clouds hut
Lakes of the Clouds hut

After leaving the hut we climbed up Monroe, which is a short hike with only 300 feet of elevation gain.

Mt. Washington Hotel and Bretton Woods from Monroe
Mt. Washington Hotel and Bretton Woods from Monroe
Cog Railway on the first  trip of the day
Cog Railway on the first trip of the day
Looking south from Monroe
Looking south from Monroe

Left the summit of Monroe and went back to the hut where we had a snack and then started up Washington.

Clouds coming up from Ammonoosuc Ravine
Clouds coming up from Ammonoosuc Ravine

Arrived at the summit and ran into cousins Beverly and Ted and Ted’s wife Harriet who had taken the Cog Railway up. We knew they were going to do that but weren’t sure we would see them.

The old coal burning engine and cousin Beverly
The old coal-burning engine and cousin Beverly

There were a lot of people on the summit and about 50 people waiting in line to have there pictures taken with the summit sign.

Waiting for the ride down
Waiting for the ride down

We went inside and I had my PBJ, John had several pieces of chicken and then couldn’t find any floss for his teeth. We started down the Gulfside trail where there are great views of the Northern Presidentials.

Jefferson, Adams and Madison from the Gulfside trail
Jefferson, Adams and Madison from the Gulfside trail

Further down on the Jewell trail there are good views back to Washington.

Washington from the Jewell trail
Washington from the Jewell trail
Waterfall on the Jewell trail
Waterfall on the Jewell trail

Only 8 peaks left to finish “The Grid over 60”.

Jefferson

Hiked Jefferson on 8/6/15. This was peak number 566 for “The Grid over 60”. Bill Cronin joined me on this trip. We didn’t take a direct route to the summit as we are both redlining and had quite a few trails that we wanted to cover. Unfortunately we didn’t get them all done as we ran out of time but we still hiked for more than 12 hours covering over 17 miles of trail. We were really slowed down by the roughness and steepness of the Emerald Bluff trail and the roughness of Link Trail between Castle Ravine and the Caps Ridge trail. The first landmark we encountered was the RMCs Log Cabin.

The Log Cabin operated by the Randolph Mountain Club
The Log Cabin operated by the Randolph Mountain Club

After we left the Log Cabin the trails just got rougher and rougher until we reached the Caps Ridge trail, it was really slow going because of the roughness and also everything was wet from rain the night before so all the rocks and roots were very slippery.

Looking up a drainage from the Link Trail
Looking up a drainage from the Link Trail

We saw a very large piece of white quartz in the trail, one of the largest I have seen.

White Quartz on the Link trail
White Quartz on the Link trail

We had our first PBJ of the day at the intersection of the Link and Castle trails. As we approached the summit of Jefferson we were in the clouds and the wind picked up and the temperature dropped to 36 degrees.

Near the summit of Jefferson
Near the summit of Jefferson

 

Castle Ridge from Randolph Path
Castle Ridge from Randolph Path
Looking toward the Kilkenny Ridge fro Randolph Path
Looking toward the Kilkenny Ridge from Randolph Path

We had our second PBJ of the day at the intersection of the Israel Ridge trail and Perch Path. We also had several snacks during the day. As we got lower there were several stream crossings with nice little water falls.

Water fall on Israel Ridge trail
Water fall on Israel Ridge trail

Only 10 peaks left to complete “The Grid over 60”.

Middle and South Carter

Climbed Middle and South Carter on 8/5/15. These were peaks number 564 and 565 for “The Grid over 60”. The weather forecast was for thunderstorms in the afternoon, so I got an early start and was back to the parking lot by 1:30. I parked at 19 Mile Brook Trail and then roadwalked to Camp Dodge then the Imp Trail and North Carter Trail to the Carter-Moriah Trail. There are a couple of sections of bog bridges on the Carter-Moriah Trail between the North Carter Trail and the summit of Middle Carter.

Bog bridge on Carter-Moriah trail
Bog bridge on Carter-Moriah trail

There are also a couple of places with good views along the trail.

Madison and Adams with clouds on the summits
Madison and Adams with clouds on the summits
The summit of Middle Carter
The summit of Middle Carter

After leaving the summit of Middle Carter there are several places with views.

Looking into Maine
Looking into Maine

There were quite a few mushrooms around.

Mushroom on Carter-Moriah trail
Mushroom on Carter-Moriah trail
Looking back toward Shelburne Moriah
Looking back toward Shelburne Moriah
Looking ahead to Carter Dome with a little cloud top
Looking ahead to Carter Dome with a little cloud top

When I reached South Carter I ate my PBJ even though it was only 10:30. I met a guy who was out for a week of backpacking. I asked him where he was going to spend the night and he replied “Crawford Notch”. I couldn’t figure out how he was going to get that far in the hours of daylight that were left. There were some flowers in blossom including some golden rod.

Golden rod
Golden rod

After I reached Zeta Pass I headed down the Carter Dome Trail where there are a couple of stream crossings with nice waterfalls.

Water fall on Carter Dome Trail
Water fall on Carter Dome Trail

Finally reached 19 Mile Brook Trail and started back to the parking lot. Discovered they have started construction on replacing the bridge that was washed away in Irene and have also started the relocation of the trail at the trailhead.

Bridge construction on 19 Mile Brook Trail
Bridge construction on 19 Mile Brook Trail

Only 11 more peaks to finish “The Grid over 60”.